Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting & Walnuts

I made this Carrot cake when I was working part time at Heller's Bakery during the summer of 2009. The recipe I used, courtesy of Mariano, is very versatile coz I also use it for Banana or Zucchini bread. We also use the same recipe at school where I work and I can assure, it's a foolproof. Hope he doesn't or won't mind that i'm publishing this recipe but I give full credit to him. Banana bread sells really well at our school, just make sure to use very ripe bananas for extra sweetness and moist texture. Whenever we have some very ripe or bruised bananas, it's automatically turned into a Banana bread pudding or Banana bread. I don't like to just throw them away (which some people do) when I can turn them into cash, same thing goes for our stale bread but molds-free. I guess, it's all about creativity or being innovative in the kitchen, that way you help reduce food wastes, as well as, expenses.

I rarely make Carrot cake, although, it's one of my favorite cakes to devour, "only" if it's iced with a cream cheese frosting. The first time I had Carrot cake was in Hong Kong. I liked it so much that everytime I see it on a buffet dessert station, I would get a slice asap. I was working at the Regal Airport Hotel back then and I would always have buffet for dinner. They make a really delicious Carrot cake and I would get atleast 2 big slices. I also like their Blueberry Cheesecake, so if there's no Carrot cake, I would get this one. Therefore, I would always hit the gym the next day to burn all those calories and hoping I would have them again for dessert. Those were the good old days, now, I make them for people to enjoy. I still have it every once in a while but in moderation :)

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting & Toasted Walnuts

1 1/4 Cup Vegetable oil
1 Cup Brown sugar
1 Cup Granulated sugar
4 Eggs, room temperature
2 Cups All Purpose flour
1 tsp Salt
2 tsp Baking soda
2 tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
3 Cups Carrot, grated
1 Cup Pineapple, crushed
1/2 Cup Raisins


8 oz Cream Cheese, room temperature
4 oz Butter, room temperature
4 oz Confectioner sugar
2 tsp Vanilla extract
8 oz Walnuts, toasted and chopped

1. Cream together the oil and sugars on high speed with a paddle attachment until it has a creamy consistency.
2. Turn to low speed, add eggs one at a time, allowing to fully incorporate before each addition.
3. Add carrots into the batter, mix at a low speed.
4. Mix dry ingredients together and sift them.
5. Add the dry ingredients in thirds, allowing each addition to incorporate but do not over mix.
6. Fold in crushed pineapple and raisins.
7. Grease a 13 X 9 pan. Pour batter and tap the pan against the counter to remove bubbles trapped underneath.
8. Bake at 350 deg. for the first 10 -15 mins. then turned heat down to 325 deg. and continue baking for another 25 mins. or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
9. Cool down or refrigerate before frosting.
10. Whip Cream cheese and butter until fluffy, add sugar and a little vanilla.
11. For Carrot design, I used red and yellow food coloring with some frosting and green color for the leaves.